Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Learning About A Deadly Disease

Here is an article about genetic testing for Alzheimer disease. The symptoms for Alzheimer can be very horrifying.  

With the help of modern technology, there are many genetic testing available that will show if a person carries the gene for certain disease. A financially capable individual could easily found out if he or she carries the gene for any deadly disease that may run in their family. However, knowing the result of the test is not mentally easily. No matter how strong a person could be, it is always tough to find out that there exists a gene that could bring the end of his or her life. In the article “Screening for Alzheimer’s Gene Tests the Desire to Know”, two brothers have hard time deciding whether they should go through the genetic testing to find out if they carry the gene for Alzheimer. This disease runs in their family and they are witnessing their father go through the heartbreaking conditions of it. One brother did the test and found out that he does not have the gene. The other brother did not do the test because he thinks he is not capable of knowing the result. Despite the fact that he has children, he cannot bear the truth of knowing that he will die from such a horrible and suffering disease. I totally agree with the second brother, I am very weak emotionally and cannot tolerate to know that I have the gene for a deadly disease which will show up at some point in life. I rather live my life happy now with not knowing anything than worrying about what to expect in the future.    


  1. Rebeka,

    It is of course a scientific breakthrough to be able to test for the gene for this disease, but is this ethical? I understand that genetic tests can tell families and people many critical things about their future, but I just cannot see the point if there is no way of preventing or curing this disease. It is one thing if a person can test for a certain genetic disorder if they want to know for prevention reasons, but if a person finds out they carry the gene for Alzheimer's disease, what do they do? Worry and wait for the day when their memories slowly fade away? I feel that genetic testing is only useful if a person can be proactive and prevent or cure a disease. If the disease cannot be even treated, what is the point of finding out if they carry the gene? Although genetic testing can be very useful for certain situations and diseases, I cannot see the usefulness in genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease.

  2. Rebeka and Kimberly,
    I agree with both of you that genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease is unethical at this point. Until, a cure or better treatment options become available it seems that knowledge of impending suffrage would affect an individual's life in a negative way. I think that genetic testing should be used only for diseases with treatment options or for genetic counseling when a couple plans for a family. Still Alice is movie that deals with the complicated issue of genetic testing for early onset Alzheimer's disease. It was an excellent movie but the processes Alice and her family go through is truly heart wrenching.